The 15 Best Bodyweight Exercises for a Bigger Butt

woman doing donkey kicks

Looking to sculpt and strengthen your glutes? Then you’ve come to the right place!

With these 15 bodyweight exercises you can create your own butt workout at home. Here’s how to do it:

  • Pick 4-6 exercises
  • Do as many reps as you need to feel your glutes really working. For some exercises, such as the Single Leg Hip Thrust, you might need only 8, for others, such as the Frog Pump, you might need to do 30
  • Repeat for 3-5 rounds
  • Do a butt workout at least 3 times a week

Exercise list: 15 best butt exercises to do at home

1. Bridge

Great starting exercise – the Bridge will not only work your glutes but also your back and abs. Working on core stabilization and glute strength might even help relieve some back pain. Add a resistance band around your knees to make the exercise harder or choose other variations below. Make sure to check these exercise mistakes before your start.

Lie on your back. Bend your knees and lift your hips up until your body forms a straight line from knees to head. Keep your heels under your knees, not too far forward or backward. If you feel this exercise straining your back, make sure your abs are tight and you are lifting from your hips, not your chest.

2. Single Leg Bridge

The Single Leg Bridge is a more challenging variation of the Bridge.

Lie on your back with your knees bent. Extend one leg. Push up with the heel of the other leg to lift yourself off the floor. Keep your hips level. If you don’t feel this in your glutes, try this: bend the extended leg and place that foot on the knee of your bottom leg. Repeat with the other leg.

3. Marching Bridge

This exercise requires good hip stability. It can also be used as a good warm up exercise for other workouts!

Perform this exercise like the Single Leg Bridge, but alternate sides with each rep without letting your hips go down to the floor between reps. The main goal is to keep your hips level; don’t turn side to side as you switch legs.

4. Hip Thrust

The Hip Thrust is a must for everyone looking to develop their backside, because it makes your butt work against gravity at an optimal angle. You can use the resistance band around your knees to activate your side glutes more.

Support your upper back on a couch, bed, or a bench, so that the lower part of your shoulder blades is located on the edge of the surface. Look for a height where your chest and knees can be in a straight line. Pull your feet towards you so that they are placed below your knees. Keep your knees bent and push through the heels to lift your hips up from the ground. Experiment with your foot positions to find an angle where you feel your glutes really working.

5. Single Leg Hip Thrust

Take the Hip Thrust exercise to the next level!

The setup is the same as for the Hip Thrust, followed by lifting one foot off of the ground. Push through the heel on the floor and use your hips to lift yourself up. Don’t let your hips fall towards one side, keep them level. Repeat with the other leg.

6. Fire Hydrant

The Fire Hydrant is an amazing exercise for an intense glute pump. Add a resistance band around your knees for more burn!

Start on all fours. Lift one leg up to the side. Go only as high as you can without shifting your torso to the side. Don’t arch your back, keep it stable and neutral. Initiate the movement from your glutes/hip. Repeat with the other leg.

7. Frog Pump

Here is another glute burner to use in your workout. Don’t forget, you might need a lot of reps (20+) to really feel this one burn.

Lie on your back with your knees bent and pointed outwards and the soles of your feet together (toes to toes, heel to heel). Squeeze your glutes to lift your hips up until your body forms a straight line from neck to knee. Pushing your heels together as you lift your hips up or bringing your feet closer to your butt can help activate your glutes more.

8. Donkey Kicks

The Donkey Kick is a popular move for targeting the glutes. It works great when used in a super set with the Fire Hydrant for an all-around glute pump. Add a resistance band around your knees to make the exercise harder. Make sure to check these exercise mistakes before your start.

Get on all fours. Lift one heel up towards the ceiling while keeping your knee bent. Don’t arch your back to lift your leg up – initiate the movement from your hips/glutes. It’s all about activating your glute to lift your leg, not about lifting your foot as high as possible. Repeat with the other leg.

9. Bulgarian Split Squats

Single leg exercises like this one can be quite challenging but effective. If you don’t feel ready to do it, you can substitute with Backward Lunges (nr. 13) instead.

Stand in front of a couch, chair, or something similar. Rest one foot on the elevated surface behind you. Squat down by flexing your knee and hip of your front leg. Push off from the floor with the heel of your front leg to get back up. Through this movement the majority of your weight should be on the front leg; the back leg provides support. The front knee is pointing toward the toes. Repeat with the other leg.

10. Curtsy Lunges

Forward Lunges will mostly work the front of your thighs, but with Curtsy, Side & Backward Lunges you can feel the glutes really working.

Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Take a step back to the side, so that the back leg crosses behind your front leg, while your hips are still pointing forward. Keep the weight mainly on the front leg. Push the heel of the front foot to the ground to get back up. Repeat on the other side.

11. Side Lunges

Apart from working your front thighs and glutes, Side Lunges add some extra work for your inner and outer thighs. Make sure to check these exercise mistakes before your start.

Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Lift one leg and step to side, while pushing your hips back. Keep your knee pointing straight ahead in the direction of your toes. The other leg stretches out, with the foot planted on the floor. Push off from the floor with the heel of the bent leg to lift yourself up. Repeat on the other side.

12. Backward Lunges

Compared to the Forward Lunge, the torso angle in the backward variation activates your glutes more and puts less stress on your knees.

Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Step back with one foot until your front knee is bent at about 90 degrees. A slight forward lean at the torso will emphasize the glute work, but don’t lean too far forward. Push off from the floor with the front heel to get back up. Repeat on the other side.

13. Hip Abduction

Great isolation exercise for extra work on your side glutes. Add a resistance band around your ankles to make it harder.

Stand tall with one hand holding onto something for support. Lift one leg away from your body, with your toes pointed forward, not up. Initiate the movement from your hips, not by leaning your torso to the side. Try moving the leg a little bit backward or leaning slightly forward to see if it helps you feel your glutes working more.

14. Single Leg Deadlift

Glutes, lower back, and single leg stability all in one – Single Leg Deadlift is one of those exercises that should be done slowly to get the most out of it. If it feels easy, try doing it with your hands on your waist, and check that your heel is lifted all the way up to the same level as your hips. If this is hard, start lower and move it up over time.

Stand on one leg with the other leg slightly bent. Bend the knee of the standing leg and push your hips back, bending at the waist, to lean your upper body towards the ground. Use your hips to get back up to the starting position. Your goal is to stay stable throughout the whole movement. If you’re feeling very wobbly, hold on to something for support and reduce the range of motion.

15. Kneel & Stand

This advanced move will target your glutes and improve your balance while keeping your heart rate up.

Kneel on the floor. Now step into a half kneel with one knee up. Push off the floor with the heel of the front leg and bring the other leg up. Kneel back down with one leg first, followed by the other. Repeat on the other side.

Are butt exercises without weights effective?

These exercises give you a good foundation for shaping your butt without weights. Stay consistent and really feel your glutes burn after each workout. If you have dumbbells, a resistance band, kettlebells, or similar equipment, make sure to include them, too. Muscle building is based on progressive overload, so you need to keep it challenging!

Ready to start working on stronger glutes?

You can find most of these exercises with detailed video instructions in the adidas Training app along with a 12-week bodyweight workout plan you can do at home.

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